Anesthetics, Sedation and Pain Relief

South Devon Veterinary Hospital offers a full range of surgical services, operating to the highest standards. We have four dedicated operating theaters providing ophthalmic (eye), soft tissue, orthopedic (bone) and keyhole surgery as well as routine procedures such as neutering and dentistry.  We also offer referral surgical services. To meet our surgeons why not visit our staff page.

Providing safe anaesthetics for our patients

All our anaesthetics are tailored to the patient and continually monitored by a dedicated nurse. Advanced monitoring is always used and includes capnography (which measures carbon dioxide being breathed in and out), pulse oximeter (which measures oxygen levels in the blood), ECG (which measures the electrical activity of the heart) and non-invasive blood pressure. We also have the facilities to give fluids intraoperatively if required. We regularly and routinely monitor the temperature of patients and ensure they do not get too cold or too warm whilst under anaesthetic.

South Devon Veterinary Hospital regularly uses advanced anesthetic techniques, such as two mechanical ventilators which breath ‘for’ patients when required. On a daily basis we administer anaesthetics to older (geriatric) patients and those with complex medical conditions such as diabetes. The combination of facilities, expertise and experience allows us to minimise the risk as far as possible.

Preventing pain in our patients

Preventing pain in our patients is a priority and central to our approach.

  • Before surgery we give medications to prevent pain developing during a surgical procedure. For most patients this will include medications from the opioid group (e.g. morphine) and from the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) group (e.g. meloxicam).
  • During surgery we use techniques to keep pain to a minimum. This includes careful surgical technique, use of minimally invasive surgery (keyhole surgery), use of local anesthetic (that numb the area of surgery – examples include epidurals), and topping up pain relief medication at appropriate intervals.
  • After surgery we monitor patients regularly for signs of pain. We continue to give pain relief drugs as needed whilst patients are in hospital. We will always send clients home with appropriate follow-up pain medication. We also use techniques such as cold therapy where appropriate.